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Showing posts from October, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I got this super cute Halloween chocolate mold so I made a bunch of little Halloween chocolates.



But then I didn't know what to do with them, so I opted for making cupcakes for a pumpkin carving party that I was going to, and using the little chocolates as decorations. :)

Stacey's Pumpkin Cupcake Ingredients:
1c unbleached white flour, organic
3/4c whole wheat flour, organic
1/4c brown rice flour, organic
1tbs cornstarch
3/4c dark brown sugar, organic
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1tbs cinnamon
1/2tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 can pumpkin, organic (15 oz)
2 eggs, organic
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2c nonfat yogurt, organic
1/2c butter, salted, organic (1 stick)
1/4c whole milk, organic
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

For the frosting, I thought I'd try using Neufchâtel. I think I will use regular cream cheese next time because it looked a little grainy.

Stacey's Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
8oz Neufchâtel cheese
1/2c butter, salted, organic (1 stick)
1/4c…

Halloween Makeup 2011

Sephora posted a bunch of cool instructions for Halloween this year and I decided to try one out.

Zombie: Trial Run This is the version just as is from the Sephora instructions.  Black and green around the eyes, green to take out any red tones, powder finish, light foundation on the lips, shadows under the cheekbones. 

I also tried out an additional bit of red lipstick and some brown liner (to make it look a little dried) since I didn't have any fake blood.

Zombie: Yaboo! For Yaboo! (Yahoo!'s Halloween extravaganza) though, I opted to just go without the "blood." I scared people. :)

Zombie: Brain Taste Trial Despite the makeup, still don't like eating brains.  And that pesky skull gets in the way. 

Happy Halloween! ((^-^))

UPDATE:  Decided to put on some more makeup for the trick-or-treaters tonight. :) This one's for you Heart. [Props to you if you get the reference without clicking the link. :D ]
Dog & Butterfly


Honey Almond Spice Cake

I'm what you would call a honey junkie.  If there is honey at a farmers' market, 9 times out of 10, I will buy it.  I'm pretty sure all the honey vendors have a picture of me with a caption on it that says, "(Honey) Sucker."  If they give me a sample, I'm pretty much honey in their hands.  The 1 out of 10 times I don't buy it is probably because I don't have enough cash on me and I feel like it's wrong in some way to go home with no produce yet still weighed down by giant glass jars of heaven in syrup form. Let's just say I'm only one dimension away from being a cartoon bear stuck in a tree. I'm already chunky and yellow and enjoy tight T-shirts.  Here is some of my massive honey collection:


In case anyone is curious, from top to bottom, left to right:
Orange Blossom honey from the Alemany Farmers' Market - yummy and floral in a good way (vs the bad way where it tastes like soap - I'm looking at YOU, disgusting rose candy)Mounta…

Zoo Chocopops

Heading down to the mothership today for Halloween festivities at Yaboo! where I will get to see some of my co-workers kiddies all dressed up.  Thought I'd make a few kid friendly treats for the occasion.

Stacey's Zoo Chocopops Ingredients:
Guittard white chocolate couverture
Guittard milk chocolate couverture

Hardware:
Zoo mold
Lollipop sticks
Chopstick

First I tempered the milk chocolate.  For some reason I've found that if you go dark to light when applying chocolate, it will remain tempered but if you try and go light to dark (i.e. put white chocolate down first, then put dark chocolate on top of it), the lighter chocolate will become untempered and will have fat bloom.  In any case... I used the chopstick to apply milk chocolate for a giraffe's spots and a lion's mane.  Then I used all milk chocolate for a monkey and an elephant (applying the sticks to these).  Once I poured in the white chocolate to the giraffe and lion, I put the sticks there too.  I jiggled …

Ackbar's Adventures: San Francisco

Lizzie and I decided to take a little trip into the city.  We had heard BART was an interesting experience, so we went to the nearest station.  Little did we know that the journey would be fraught with danger.


Still, we had heard many good things about this beautiful city by the bay, so despite the threats to our safety, we waited patiently for a train to arrive.


And waited...


We thought perhaps there was some sort of sensor that might need to be triggered by a larger entity to make the train come, so we decided to hitch a ride in what we heard was called a "hoodie."


The ride into the city was long and arduous.  Lizzie and I passed the time by staring out the window.


I asked our hoodie if it would be much longer.  He said he wasn't quite sure, but that he was getting hungry. I took that as a warning and tried to keep my distance.


When our hoodie got off the train and finally stopped, we appeared to be on some sort of platform.  Lizzie saw a silo of what appeared to be gian…

Strawberry Mango Chocolate Leaves

This was actually an experiment trying to create orange.  I was hoping that if I used freeze-dried powdered strawberries (red) and mangoes (yellow), that I could turn white chocolate orange. Turns out the mangoes are almost the same color as the white chocolate, so I just ended up with pink.  They taste pretty yummy though.

Stacey's Strawberry Mango Chocolate Leaf Ingredients:
9 oz Guittard white chocolate couverture
~ 1 oz freeze-dried strawberry / mango mixture (50/50)

So first I ground the fruit to a powder in a mortar and pestle like in my strawberry cream crunchies recipe. I used a leaf mold and made sure it was dry and clean (I rinsed it and wiped all the spots with a cloth - this is to make sure all the chocolates come out shiny, without watermarks from dried water droplets). Then I tempered some white chocolate and stirred the powder in.

I spooned the chocolate into the mold, jiggling the mold on the counter-top to make sure I released any bubbles.  I let the chocolate cool …

Green Onion Hearty Country Bread

As I continue to play with the Hearty Country Bread recipe, I'm always trying new methods and additives. This time, I'm going to try letting it rise in the refrigerator for two nights, add the salt to the dough instead of at the same time as the sponge, and add in green onions.

Stacey's Green Onion Hearty Country Bread Ingredients:
Sponge
1c whole wheat flour, organic
1/2c dark rye flour, organic
1/2 tsp yeast
1c water, 110F

Dough
3c unbleached white bread flour, organic artisan + 1/2-1c additional
1 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1 1/3c warm water, 110F
3 tbs honey (avocado honey - it's dark, thick and not very sweet or strong tasting. The boyfriend found this at a Mediterranean market)

5 green onions
Sunflower oil, organic

Hardware
Standing Mixer
Silicone spatula
Silicone brush
Plastic wrap
Parchment paper
Baking stone
Rimless baking sheet

First I made the sponge (mix all the ingredients together and cover with plastic wrap) and let it sit overnight.  The next morning, I made the…

World's Longest Bread Rant

I know I haven't posted for quite a while. My apologies to the few people that I force to look at my blog.  I've been doing bread making research and I'm SO new to this that I couldn't even put it in the blog and pretend I know what I'm doing.  I've been baking bread for a few weeks though now, and I think just for my own sake I wanted to start documenting in case I wanted to repeat something.  I have made a few fairly yummy loaves so far, so I thought it was time to start posting again. :)

Here are some things that I learned mostly using the same Hearty Country Bread recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book (that most bread makers will scoff at since they seem so rudimentary):

I don't like "beer bread" recipes.  There are recipes that do not require yeast or kneading - recipes that remove all the hard parts about making bread and replace it with beer, which ultimately, like life, makes things a bit more disappointing than if …